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Notice of Public Input Opportunity

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AGENCY:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

SUMMARY:

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces the following:

Availability of opportunity for the Public to Provide Input on two proposed documents:

“Recommendations for Applying the International Labour Office (ILO) International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses in Medical Diagnosis, Research and Population Surveillance, Worker Health Monitoring, Government Program Eligibility, and Compensation Settings,” and

“Ethical Considerations for B Readers.”

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), acting on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), is responsible for prescribing the manner in which radiographs are read and classified for the chest x-ray program available to coal miners under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, 30 U.S.C. 843; 42 CFR part 37. In carrying out this responsibility, NIOSH issues B Reader certifications to physicians who demonstrate proficiency in the classification of chest radiographs for the pneumoconioses using the International Labour Office (ILO) Classification System. NIOSH uses these B Readers in its Coal Workers Health Surveillance Program. B Readers are also employed in a variety of other clinical, research and compensation settings. NIOSH is using the issuance of the new International Labour Office (ILO) Classification of Radiographs as an opportunity to expand its Web site on the B Reader Program and use of the ILO system. NIOSH-certified B Readers use the internationally-recognized ILO system to classify chest radiographs for the presence and severity of pulmonary parenchymal and pleural changes potentially caused by exposure to dusts such as asbestos, silica, and coal mine dust. The revised program Web site provides more information about radiographic reading and the ILO system including recommendations or “best practices” for use of the ILO system in different settings.

We are specifically seeking public comment for the draft Document:

“Recommendations for Applying the International Labour Office (ILO) International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses in Medical Diagnosis, Research and Population Surveillance, Worker Health Monitoring, Government Program Eligibility, and Compensation Settings.”

This document can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/​niosh/​topics/​chestradiography/​recommendations.html.

At this same time, NIOSH is also seeking comment on its proposed “Ethical Considerations for B Readers” which can be found at this same Web site. In a recent decision in the In Re Silica Products Litigation, 2005 WL 1593936 (S.D. Tex June 30, 2005), Federal District Court Judge Janis Jack raised questions regarding the ethical conduct of certain physicians, some of whom were B Readers, in reading x-rays in litigation. NIOSH is proposing “Ethical Considerations for B Readers” which includes a code of ethics modeled after those of the American College of Radiology and the American Medical Association. We welcome comments on this proposed code of ethics.

Please review and submit your comments on either or both of these documents to CWHSP@cdc.gov. If you would prefer to have a hard copy rather than electronic, please contact NIOSH at this same e-mail address, and we will be happy to fax or mail copies of the documents to you.

The documents will remain available for comment until January 17, 2006. After that date, NIOSH will consider all the comments submitted and make appropriate revisions to the document Start Printed Page 69766before posting a final version on its Web site.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David N. Weissman, MD, CDC/NIOSH, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Mailstop H-2900, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505, 304-285-5749.

Information requests can also be submitted by e-mail to CWHSP@cdc.gov.

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Dated: November 10, 2005.

John Howard,

Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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[FR Doc. 05-22762 Filed 11-16-05; 8:45 am]

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